How, When and If to use Progesterone Cream – Moodmama

How, When and If to use Progesterone Cream

The use of progesterone depends on reproductive age, situation and complaints. Dosage, days of use and intervals can differ between individuals.

This article aims to explain what progesterone is, how and why it is made in the body, why it decreases with age and how it can be used to alleviate discomfort related to the menstrual cycle.

Progesterone can be used by females who have periods, females who no longer have periods, and by males. However, these 3 user groups need progesterone for different reasons, in different dosages and in different intervals which is described in this article.

This information is not meant to diagnose or treat any disease. Always consult with your doctor regarding concerns about your health.

Matriarch progesterone creams contain bio-equivalent progesterone which means it has the same chemical structure as the progesterone your body makes. It is not a foreign substance to your body's cells and receptors.

Progestogens, however, are foreign. Progestogens is a collective word to describe the various synthetic progesterone-like substances used in hormonal contraceptives for example. Progestogens have a similar, but modified, chemical structure. They are not progesterone even though they might have similar functions.

The large WHI-study showed that progestogens (not progesterone) taken together with oral estrogen, increase the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

What is progesterone?

Progesterone is a hormone that regulates the menstrual cycle and is essential for pregnancy.

It is produced in the ovaries, mainly after ovulation. A small amount is produced continuously in adrenal and brain cells. Large amounts are made by the placenta during pregnancy.

After a follicle ruptures during ovulation, to release the egg, it transforms into a new, temporary, organ - the corpus luteum. It makes mainly progesterone but some estrogen too, in preparation for pregnancy.

Any blood samples of progesterone should therefore be drawn a week after ovulation.

If there is no pregnancy, the corpus luteum will break down after 14 days. This will make the lining of the uterus, the endometrium, slough in the process of menstruation. If there is a pregnancy, but the corpus luteum doesn't produce enough progesterone, there can be an early miscarriage.

Endogenous progesterone is a precursor to other sex steriods such as testosterone, estrogens and cortisol. However, these hormones are produced in other cells and progesterone is not diverted away from its main functions to produce these hormones instead.

Progesterone that you supplement with will not work as a precursor to make other hormones. It does, however, metabolize into other neuroactive substances such as the calming allopregnanolone.

Progesterone and estradiol work together for optimal reproductive function. Estradiol stimulates cell division, and progesterone works to counteract this while also ensuring that estradiol receptors maintain their sensitivity.

This might explain why post-menopausal women can find some relief with progesterone. A small amount can increase the sensitivity for the remaining estrogen in the body.

However, if the estradiol level is critically low, progesterone cannot change the consequences of that. In this case estradiol treatment is needed, should the situation call for it. Menopausal hormone treatment is prescribed by a physician.

Progesterone cannot prevent menopause, nor can any hormone treatment. Using the appropriate dosage of estradiol can however stabilize the blood levels of estradiol and alleviate unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes or sleeping issues for example.

Functions of progesterone

Progesterone is essential for pregnancy, but it has more functions in the body:

  • It counteracts estradiol in the endometrium (uterine lining) and prevents heavy menstrual bleeding and pain.
  • It can both increase and decrease the sensitivity of estradiol receptors throughout the body.
  • It can both stimulate AND inhibit ovulation depending on dosage and timing of use. It should not be used as a contraceptive though.
  • It prevents early miscarriage that is not due to genetics of the embryo.
  • It can be helpful in cases of post-partum depression.
  • During nursing a low dose can increase milk production and a high dose can inhibit milk production.
  • As it can stimulate ovulation, it can indirectly regulate a female’s androgen levels and prevent acne, hirsutism, and hair loss.
  • It can be used to post-pone menstruation.
  • It can contribute to calm and better sleep.
  • It increases the formation of the calming neurotransmitter GABA and can increase sensitivity for serotonin.
  • It can be used to treat PMS and PMDD provided correct dosages and intervals are used.
  • It protects the brain against degenerative diseases by stimulating the formation of new myelin sheaths around neurons and by lowering inflammation. Is used in traumatic brain injury to prevent catastrophic swelling in the brain.
  • In males, it can prevent some hair loss and protect the prostate.

Do NOT use progesterone cream together with:

  • Hormonal contraceptives containing progestogens. There is no point of using real progesterone if you still use synthetic progestogens. There are certain exceptions, such as IUDs. You can always contact us if you have questions.
  • Drugs for in-vitro fertilization. You can use progesterone cream instead of vaginal progesterone AFTER embryo transfer to lessen the risk of miscarriage.
  • Low doses of estradiol. It will likely cause side-effects by blocking the uptake of estrogen.

You CAN use progesterone cream in the following situations:

  • Sequentially with correctly dosed estradiol treatment (patches, gel, cream, vaginal, pills) provided you have a uterus (otherwise it is not needed). In this case use only Matriarch 100 as a high concentration of progesterone is needed in this case.
  • With phytoestrogens and other food supplements.
  • With thyroid hormones.
  • When pregnant. (If there is risk of early miscarriage. Do not stop before pregnancy week 12).
  • When nursing. (Use no more than 10-20mg per day to not inhibit milk production. A low dose like this can increase milk production instead).
  • Antidepressants, SSRI, anti-anxiety medication.
  • Amino acids like L-tryptophan, 5-HTP, GABA, L-tyrosine etc.

General suggestions of use

Matriarch Progesterone Creams are for external use only. Apply 1 or 2 pumps, as needed, to your inner underarms and rub your arms together to absorb all cream into the skin.

There is no need to rotate and use different areas of application. The underarms are perfect because the skin is thin with blood vessels close to the surface. Do not apply the cream to areas with more subcutaneous fat such as the belly, buttocks, or thighs. This will only decrease absorption and give you a less than optimal effect. Wait at least 1 hour to shower, bathe, or wash after application.

If you get a rash or hives after application, wash the skin area with warm water and soap, and discontinue use. Please let us know in this case. Contact us at: mama@moodmama.com

Dosing

All dosing is individual but, if you menstruate you would use anywhere between 20-200mg per day during 2-3 weeks of the cycle. The cream is not used during menstruation.

If you are post-menopausal, you would use 5-20mg per day continuously, without a break.

If you are male, you would use 5-10mg per day continuously without a break.

A bottle of Matriarch Progesterone Cream contains a total of 50 ml of cream (1.7 fl oz). One full press of the pump dispenses 0,5ml of cream. One bottle contains 100 pumps.

One full press of the pump of Matriarch 20 contains 10mg of progesterone and one pump of Matriarch 100 contains 50mg of progesterone.

The first time you use the bottle you will have to prime the pump by pressing it multiple times until a full dose comes out of one pump.

When to use Matriarch Progesterone Cream 20

Matriarch 20 is used during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, because a low dose can stimulate ovulation (and thus increase chances of pregnancy).

By doing so it also optimizes estrogen production during this phase which promotes general well-being. This can prevent headaches, migraines, and mood swings prior to, and around, ovulation - especially if you are in the late reproductive phase or early peri-menopause.

Normally, you would use 1 pump of Matriarch 20, morning and evening, during days 7-14 (+/-2 days) and then stop during the days around ovulation. The first day of the period is day 1 of the cycle.

Generally, you should not continue using Matriarch 20 over and beyond ovulation. This could trigger PMS.

However, if you are closer to menopause, and are not ovulating regularly anymore, you might find it very helpful to use Matriarch 20 every day of the cycle except when bleeding. In this case, you would simply use the cream continuously and in the case of bleeding or spotting you would stop. After 7 days you would start again.

When to use Matriarch Progesterone Cream 100

Matriarch 100 is more concentrated and more suitable to prevent heavy bleeding and menstrual pain.

It can also be very helpful for PMS but in this case, it's best used together with Matriarch 20 in the follicular phase, as described above.

In this situation you would start with Matriarch 20, as per above, stop during the days of ovulation, and then start with Matriarch 100 when you are sure ovulation has passed. Use until the day prior, or the same day, as your expected period. On day 7, counted from the 1st day of bleeding, you would start again with Matriarch 20, etc.

If you have regular cycles (ie regular ovulation), but heavy menstrual bleeding, and/or menstrual pain, use 2 pumps of Matriarch 100, morning and evening, during the last 2 weeks of your cycle.

Make sure you start AFTER ovulation and continue until the day prior, or the same day, as your expected period. After stopping, you will have your period. Sometimes, it can take a couple of days. A new cycle doesn't begin until the first day of your period. The first day of bleeding is day 1 in a new cycle.

Menopausal Hormone Treatment

If you are using menopausal hormone treatment, it is possible to replace the progestogen with Matriarch 100. However, this is only applicable when you are using it sequentially (in regular intervals). And provided you have a uterus. If you don't, you don't need to add progesterone to your treatment.

If you do have an intact uterus, you can use Matriarch 100 sequentially but you should not use Matriarch 100 continuously together with estrogen. It can block the effect of the estrogen, and that would only lead to an ineffective treatment and side-effects.

The better way to use Matriarch 100 in this situation would be every 3 months, as an example, during 12 consecutive days and then stopping. This will produce a withdrawal bleeding when the endometrial lining will slough just like it does during a regular menstruation. Use 1-2 pumps morning and evening.

The interval of 3 months is generic. You, as an individual, might need a shorter interval or, you could do fine on a longer interval. This is something you will learn with time and the help of vaginal ultrasound exams to measure the thickness of the endometrium over time.

You can always contact us at mama@moodmama.com if you have further questions on how to use Matriarch progesterone creams in your specific situation.